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Aviva Premiership news: Newcastle Falcons sign prop Sami Mavinga and flanker Gary Graham

Aviva Premiership news: Newcastle Falcons sign prop Sami Mavinga and flanker Gary Graham

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Newcastle Falcons have signed Lyon prop Sami Mavinga and Jersey Reds flanker Gary Graham for next season.

Prop Jon Welsh and centre Chris Harris have also signed new contracts at Kingston Park as the Aviva Premiership club accelerate plans for next term.

Newcastle were alerted to French prop Mavinga in Challenge Cup action against Lyon this term, while Jersey back-rower Graham is the son of former Falcons prop George.

“Sami is a player who stood out for Lyon during their two Challenge Cup games against us this season,” said Newcastle rugby director Dean Richards.

“That put him on our radar, and from there it has been a case of watching more of him in action and getting a fuller picture of what Sami can offer.

“He certainly carries well, he is a big strong boy and brings a lot of aggression to the role.

“We look forward to working with him over the summer and incorporating him into what is already a good group of front-row forwards for the coming campaign.”

Mavinga and Graham take Newcastle’s confirmed signings for next term up to seven, with France centre Maxime Mermoz and Canada wing DTH Van der Merwe among those already secured.

Jersey star Graham has featured most often at openside flanker at the Championship club this term.

His father George helped Newcastle win the 1997-98 Premiership title.

“Gary is a tenacious forward whose physicality has impressed us,” said Richards.

“He has been a very consistent performer for Jersey in the Championship, he defends well, is strong over the ball and with the skill set he possesses he can add to what is already a very competitive area of our squad.”

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